SELRAP campaign goes to Brussels

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by Chris L, 15 Oct 2010.

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  1. Chris L

    Chris L Member

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    SELRAP campaign goes to Brussels

    Just 11 miles of empty track bed separates Lancashire and Yorkshire between Skipton and Colne.
    A Delegation of Railway Campaigners from SELRAP take the case to MEPs at Brussels.

    A Lancashire View
    David Penney
    http://www.itveuropeandyou.com/EN/video661region1category16.aspx
    Andy Shackleton
    http://www.itveuropeandyou.com/EN/video660region1category16.aspx
    NW MEP Brain Simpson
    http://www.itveuropeandyou.com/EN/video659region1category16.aspx
    A Manchester Councillor?
    http://www.itveuropeandyou.com/EN/video654region1category16.aspx

    A Yorkshire View
    http://www.itveuropeandyou.com/EN/category16region3.aspx
    David Walsh
    http://www.itveuropeandyou.com/EN/video663region3category16.aspx
    A Yorkshire MEP
    http://www.itveuropeandyou.com/EN/video664region3category16.aspx

    To see the route of the line
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YRcW3E4OkYc

    But if you need still more on SELRAP, visit www.selrap.org.uk
    Or get back to me.
     
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  3. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    I think it's excellent news. For projects such as these, the more support from local polititians and business leaders the better. There are equally worthy schemes that have been continually hampered by lacklustre support from government at one level or another - even during the good times, a situation which is only likely to get worse in the current situation.

    Are you involved in SELRAP Chris L ? What's your view.
     
  4. GNERman

    GNERman Established Member

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    Alongside myself Chris L is on the SELRAP Executive Committee...
     
  5. MidnightFlyer

    MidnightFlyer Veteran Member

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    It's quite interesting who supports SELRAP: Bishops, football clubs, and Ian Hisop if my memory serves me correctly.

    Again, if I remeber rightly, its only £80m for double-track electrification of the line, or it was at the last estimate.

    But then again, it is going to brussels, so it's probably £79.99m too expensive for them to invest in.
     
  6. tbtc

    tbtc Veteran Member

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    Only?

    Plus, presumably you'd need some new EMUs for it, and then you're going to say that you don't just want to connect to the hourly Colne - Blackpool South Pacer, so that's going to need electrification to continue as far as Burnley? Blackburn? Preston? Plus new EMUs for that? Plus...
     
  7. MidnightFlyer

    MidnightFlyer Veteran Member

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    I'd happily take an extension of the WY EMUs from Skipton once-hourly, terminate at Colne, and connect with the Colne-Bpl Sth service. In an even better world they'd cough up for a passing loop at Burnley Central for half only operation as far as Preston.
     
  8. Geezertronic

    Geezertronic Established Member

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    Well pass a message on will you, why start threads (2 now) and not comment on them apart from the original post?
     
  9. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    Indeed, but why go for electrified double track? Just go for a single track extension of the existing branch and take it from there.
     
  10. tbtc

    tbtc Veteran Member

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    That's what I don't understand about this.

    It'd be a marginal route, not linking anywhere major that isn't already linked, yet the supporters are talking about making it a better standard than the main trans-pennine link from Leeds - Huddersfield - Manchester...
     
  11. paul1609

    paul1609 Established Member

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    I've only ever walked under this route in the Thornto in Craven area on the Pennine Way but a quick look on Google maps suggests that this would be anything but a low cost re-opening. Is the £80 million just for electrification?

    I lost count the bridges that are missing around 12 but there are some sufficent structures missing. A deviation would be required near the Skipton Bypass which has been built over the original alignment. I dont think youd fit a twin track electrified line through the middle of that housing estate near Earby either!

    Has anybody ever done a realistic cost estimate?



     
  12. MidnightFlyer

    MidnightFlyer Veteran Member

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    I never said it would be fully twin track did I? I think SELRAP did the £80m estimate for the whole route electrified a while back. you'd probably be best talking to Chris or another rep about that.
     
  13. paul1609

    paul1609 Established Member

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    The profesionally costed Uckfield to Lewes reinstatement came out at £141 million for a 8.5 mile single track with no intermediate stations and no electrification in 2008, This would seem to be a much easier reinstatement than skipton- colne. No viable business case could be made for the reinstatement



     
  14. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    Well, I personally think it's greatest benefit would be more about linking the reasonably well populated areas of Airedale with those in North Lancs as opposed to a full tilt trans-pennine link. I think it would probably also make the existing Colne branch a more useful bit of the network thus making it's own existance more secure.

    That said, perhaps there is a case for a more heavily engineered diversionary route between W Yorks and N Lancs, but my gut instinct on this one is to learn to walk before trying to run :D
     
  15. Crossforth

    Crossforth Established Member

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    I've never heard of this before :o

    Looks like a good idea.

    And I can see why they want to electrify it what with Skipton to Leeds being elctrified so just extend it and if it is done when built, surely it may save costs later IF the come to it in the future.
     
  16. 142094

    142094 Established Member

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    Perhaps if HS2 was cancelled, and all the small scale reopenings done instead, we might have a better railway serving more areas than now.
     
  17. Invincibles

    Invincibles Member

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    I can not help feeling that the best use for a line like this is as a feeder to the skipton - leeds services. As there is little in the way of other traffic it should be possible to tweak the S&C timetable enough to allow the Colne train in at such a time as to make good connection with the electric to Leeds.

    In the other direction I think Blackburn would be a good destination, offering connections to Manchester and into the fast train to Preston (I would try to time the Colne train to arrive just before the York - Blackpool)

    Combining this with the existing hourly service from Blackpool to Colne would be more than enough I think.

    IF the cost differences were small enough then I would electify through to Burnley, terminating in a loop at Burnley Central. This would give the project more "green" credentials and would be very good spin for the UK government who authorise it. Electrification beyond Burnley would gain a bit of an improvement to its case, but the main advantage is to say there is a commitment to green.

    I hope that they are successful with their campaign, but having seen the route I do not know how successful they will be.
     
  18. Chris L

    Chris L Member

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    If Electrified, then the Leeds - Skipton trains should go at least as far as Rose Grove.
    There's a bay platform waiting.
    This would meet trains from Manchester - round the Todmorden Curve
    And the existing Blackpool - Leeds trains should also call.
    A little joined up thinking.

    This project is just as much about the Economic Regeneration of the area,
    and it looks good value, compared with other Regeneration Projects.
    All the track-bed is clear of development, it just needs a few bridges.
    Nothing major then, - and yes it is a professional engineering costing.

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: 18 Oct 2010
  19. tbtc

    tbtc Veteran Member

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    If you want to regenerate the area then the market to concentrate on is Colne/ Burnley to Manchester. That's where the jobs are and the money is.

    A handful of Pacers would be needed to tack a Colne portion to the Manchester Victoria - Blackburn - Clitheroe service (splitting at Blackburn to provide a direct service to Burnley and Colne). Northern are getting a few Pacers from FGW in the next year or two, that's what I'd consider a reasonable investment. Prove that there is a market there to give Burnley people a job in Manchester, prove that you can attract Manchester workers to move to East Lancashire (and then spend their money there).

    Instead, we seem to be talking about building a brand new electrified railway and wiring the existing East Lancashire line. Quite an unproven jump, when there are many "more deserving" lines that could be reopened and many other existing lines "more deserving" of electrification (for example, why electrify this branchline and convert it to two tracks when the main trans-pennine ones are unwired?).

    One good "rule of thumb" in (re)opening railway lines is to look at the bus provision to see whether there is a demand for public transport. Stirling to Alloa had a First bus every ten minutes (60/62/63), so there was a clear market there that could be converted to use the train instead.

    Nelson/ Burnley to Manchester is a similarly busy bus route, with modern double deckers every twenty minutes (? - more frequent at rush hour). A train between Nelson/ Burnley and Manchester could obviously tap into this market.

    However, Skipton to Nelson/ Burnley is another story. Last time I was in the area there was an hourly "Pennine" bus (a fairly old vehicle, suggesting it's not a very profitable service), so that doesn't suggest any massive demand to get between the two to me. Similarly, Burnley/ Nelson to Keighly is only a bus every hour, as far as I remember.

    There are already direct trains from Leeds/ Bradford to Burnley/ Blackburn, so opening a new railway isn't going to open up these as direct markets. The current hourly service could be improved, of course. It's not unrealistic to ask for the hourly Selby - Leeds - Bradford - Huddersfield - Wakefield service to be replaced by a Selby - Leeds - Bradford -Burnley - Blackburn service (and a Bradford - Huddersfield - Wakefield service), for example. However, building a £100 million railway (when there are insufficient resources to cope with other railway demands in Yorkshire/ Lancashire) seems strange.

    Credit to the SELRAP guys, they've turned this into a "cause celebre", they've got a lot of MPs/ MEPs/ public bodies "on side", but it's a flimsy business case, especially in the current environment.
     
  20. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    I think getting the politico's and public bodies on side is half the battle, which is why I think it's worth SELRAP pushing the issue. Also I think the fact that the route lasted as late as 1970 suggests to me that it probably shouldn't have been closed in the first place. That aside, i agree that major engineering, electrification and the like are pretty unlikely in such an area.

    Would it be possible for the Authority to take a light rail approach to extend the existing branch to connect into Skipton services with a single unelectrified line, bearing in mind the feats that preservation societies manage with limited funds (admittedly these are on a volunteer basis which might not be possible). Perhaps they could use second hand track which might not be suitable for the main line anymore but which would be fine for a branch shuttle ?
     
  21. paul1609

    paul1609 Established Member

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    Sorry what is the professional cost?
    The only figure I've seen mentioned is 80 million which would be a joke. Several of the bridges would be 10 to 15 million each!
     
  22. sprinterguy

    sprinterguy Established Member

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    Whilst I commend SELRAP on their success with getting the Colne to Skipton campaign as far as they have done, which is a worthy effort, I do think that this is an unusual reopening to be championing, and a hopeless cause in the current financial climate.

    The reopened line would be a slow route, so is unlikely to attract a great number of through trips I would have thought, from the likes of Skipton to Blackburn. Whilst I am sure there would be a grateful few who would find such a link beneficial. I don’t think that such folk would be sufficiently great in number to support the line in revenue terms (Even realising that many similar existing routes are subsidised anyway). I think that efforts would be much better focused on upgrading the Colne branch, to provide a more regular local service between Colne, Burnley and Blackburn, and improving longer distance links to Manchester. Double track from Rose Grove through to Burnley Central, and a passing loop at Nelson, would be much easier goals to attain to allow a half hourly service to operate, when extra Pacer units become available following the 150 cascade, although also remembering that many of these trains will already be required to bolster existing services around Manchester and Liverpool, and once the 180s leave Northern, they have precious few extra carriages from the cascade.

    Extending the branch from Colne to Barnoldswick to give that town improved links to Manchester and Liverpool would seem to be a much more realistic and attainable goal than reopening a line from Colne to Skipton, as beyond Barnoldswick and Earby towards Skipton centres of population are small and far between.
     
  23. PhilipW

    PhilipW Member

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    My proposal

    1) Double track from Gannow Junsction to Skipton
    2) Electrify Faringdon Jcn to Skipton
    3) then together the already proposed Preston-Blackpool electrification, run Blackpool-to-Leeds through trains.

    I expect it would be a roaring success just like the Airdrie-Bathgate scheme will be. So much so I reckon there would be enough business for 4 trains an hour
    2 tph : Blackpool North to Leeds
    2 tph : Preston to Colne, which would have stabling/reversing facilities.

    If there was enough vision, the Blackpool South branch could be electrified too allowing the Preston-Colne trains could start back from there.

    Will it happen ? Of course not, far too sensible.

    In Scotland, it probably would
     
  24. 142094

    142094 Established Member

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    I don't really see the point in Blackpool - Leeds/York via Skipton - how much longer would this take than present? Best option would be for the electrics to stay as is, Blackpool - York to stay the same and just have the services that would normally terminate at Colne go through to Skipton. No need for extra carriages, big electrification projects and changes to existing routes - far more feasible and cost-effective IMO.
     
  25. Deerfold

    Deerfold Established Member

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    There's now also a half-hourly Burnley-Skipton service operated commercially by Burnley and Pendle.
     
  26. tbtc

    tbtc Veteran Member

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    Fair enough; it was an hourly "Pennine" service (the grey and orange buses) last time I was there.
     
  27. bluenoxid

    bluenoxid Established Member

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    Holy shizzle. Is that common sense or something?

    The bus routes are

    Barnoldswick to Colne 3 BPH with one running on to Skipton run by Mainline
    Mainline run an additional Colne to Skipton per hour via Earby.
    Skipton - Colne (via Barlick and Earby) and on to Burnley with the dated Pennine bus - 1 BPH
    Skipton - Preston - 1 BPH

    The Mainline buses stop at 7 beyond Barlick.

    These buses tick a long and there are some significant settlements but the issue is the spread of Barlick and Earby (Barlick would not be served by the new railway). The other issue is fares. It is £5 to go from Barlick to Skipton. Sorry, at that price, I'm getting in the car.

    Personally, I believe that the line is probably better off with modernised railbuses, possibly electrified. The stations would need upgrading with some form of PIS. Any extension would require the route to be surveyed and checked and if proven unfeasible, it would need to be scrapped. I would suggest an extension to Foulridge, completion of a bridge and extension to Kelbrook and Earby.

    This avoids the A56 crossing and the river crossing as well as the rail junction at the Skipton end. Further improvements would run by connecting services toward Barnoldswick (from Colne and then on to Skipton, with through ticketing).

    The other issue is integrating at the Burnley end. One option is to terminate it at Rose Grove, another is to continue to Blackburn
     
    Last edited: 18 Oct 2010
  28. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    The problem that you have then is that you end up with an even longer, more precarious branch. I think that whereas it would probably be difficult to justify extension just to the intermediate settlements alone, the case becomes a lot more positive if these journeys are boosted by allowing connections between points West of Colne and points East of Skipton.

    I agree with the earlier posters that the operation of branch services in their current form doesn't necessarily need to be changed, rather extended to connect with electric services at Skipton. Electrification and additional services southwards to Manchester may come later as part of a wider "network northwest" scheme of improvements for the whole region.
     
  29. sprinterguy

    sprinterguy Established Member

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    Now there's a brand name I haven't heard in a long while ;)

    I think it’s important that the line is viewed as a series of local links feeding into the wider network, and not as an inter-regional route to more distant destinations, so I agree that the existing branch service does not need changing fundamentally if the line were to be extended through to Skipton. I still reckon though that taking the line round to Barnoldswick would be a relatively cheap win that would only incur marginally increased operating costs for the existing train service to Colne.
     
    Last edited: 19 Oct 2010
  30. Greenback

    Greenback Emeritus Moderator

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    I think it’s important that the line is viewed as a series of local links feeding into the wider network, and not as an inter-regional route to more distant destinations, so I agree that the existing branch service does not need changing fundamentally if the line were to be extended through to Skipton. I still reckon though that taking the line round to Barnoldswick would be a relatively cheap win that would only incur marginally increased operating costs for the existing train service to Colne.[/QUOTE]

    We need to think of the line not as a Blackpool - Leeds link for thousands of through passengers, but as two routes - Blackpool to East Lancs and East Lancs to Leeds. We cna then tack on direct traisn to Manchester as well, which would give the former mill towns a much better chance of economic regeneration.

    I also agree with tbtc's earlier post. Before we embark on grandiose schemes of electrification, let's ensure that there is a market there for public transport! My gut feeling is that there is a lot of suppressed demand, but this would have to be proved before any grand scheme goes ahead. As well as bus passnegers, there may be quite a bit of mdoal shift from cars if a competitive journey time from places like Accrington and Neslon to Manchester can be achieved.

    BR's Roses line turne dout to be a great success, when first introduced it had motley colelction of run down old loco's and coaches, but it proved that such a service would be worthwhile.
     
  31. Deerfold

    Deerfold Established Member

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    Bus fares round there do seem to be extraordinarily high for short distances - especially when you consider you can do Skipton - Manchester (very slowly) for £6.70 return.
     
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